Zambrano gives up 5 runs in 1st inning, Cubs lose
CHICAGO – Carlos Zambrano says he's ready to start another streak.
Zambrano's bid for an 11th straight win was effectively dashed in the first inning Sunday as the Los Angeles Dodgers scored five runs on the way to a 7-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Zambrano (2-1) settled down after a rocky opening and gave up only one more run through five innings of work.
"I knew sooner or later I was going to lose a game, unfortunately it was today," Zambrano said. "I enjoyed the winning streak a lot, but it's over with. Let's get another win on my next time and I'll be ready for that."
Zambrano won eight straight from Aug. 14 through the end of the 2010 season and was 2-0 through four starts entering this start at Wrigley Field. The streak was the Cubs' longest since Rick Sutcliffe won 16 straight between 1984-85.
"I was a little off today," said Zambrano, who gave up eight hits and struck out four. "Pitching in the first inning wasn't good. My sinker was not good, but other than that I was able to throw five innings."
Cubs manager Mike Quade could tell Zambrano wasn't sharp.
"He just didn't make quality pitches from what I can see," he said. "He's been pretty good and it's just unfortunate that he had a rough first inning today."
Another streak continued as Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier collected a hit in his 21st straight game. He is one of only three players in major league history with hits in 21 or more consecutive games in April — former Dodgers manager Joe Torre had a 22-game string in 1972.
Ethier went 2 for 5 with an infield single that drove in the game's first run. The Dodgers have won four of five.
Hiroki Kuroda (3-2) gave up three hits and two runs in the first, then scattered six hits the rest of his 6 2-3 innings. Overall he allowed three runs — two earned — struck out seven and walked none.
Aaron Miles led off the game with a triple down the right-field line. Casey Blake was hit by a pitch and Ethier followed with an infield single that scored Miles.
Matt Kemp drove home Blake with an infield single, Jerry Sands doubled in a run, James Loney had an RBI grounder and Rod Barajas hit a sacrifice fly for the 5-0 lead.
The Cubs scored twice in the bottom half even though Kuroda struck out the side. Kosuke Fukudome doubled and Starlin Castro and Carlos Pena hit RBI singles.
Loney had an two-out RBI single in the third. Barajas singled off John Grabow in the sixth and scored on Miles' single.
Kuroda was pulled with two outs in the seventh after giving up three hits. Reliever Mike MacDougal entered and got Castro into an inning-ending grounder.
NOTES: Dodgers INF Juan Uribe missed his second straight game with a sore thigh. He was hitting .435 (10 for 23) with two homers, nine RBIs and five runs scored during a recent six-game hitting streak ... Castro was hitting .500 in 46 at-bats when leading off entering Sunday's series finale, including four hits on Saturday. He moved down to third on Sunday with Fukudome leading off. ... The Cubs host Colorado on Monday night with Matt Garza (0-2, 4.74 ERA) making his fifth start. ... Exactly 49 years ago, Dodger lefty Sandy Koufax tied his own team record by striking out 18 Cubs at Wrigley Field in a 10-2 victory. ... The Cubs and Yankees are the only teams in baseball with winning or losing streaks no longer than two games. ... Fukudome is off to his best March/April big league start with a .417 average entering Sunday. He has a .346 career average (93 for 269) in March/April games through four seasons.